Susan Leigh Flinspach

Susan Leigh Flinspach (Ph.D. University of Chicago, Education; Ph.D. University of Iowa, Anthropology) is an Associate Researcher in the Education Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Her background is in research design and methods, which she has applied to an array of educational reforms.  She has worked on the development, implementation, and assessment of educational interventions, and she has studied and published on second language learners and bilingual education in Spain and in the U.S.  She is currently a co-Principal Investigator on a grant to develop the VASE Assessment, a set of equated tests of the breadth and depth of academic word knowledge and vocabulary growth in fourth and fifth grades.

EDUCATION Ph.D. in education, University of Chicago, 2001Dissertation: Interpretive Synthesis: A Methodology for Reviewing Qualitative Case-Study Research

Major fields: urban education and school reform, educational policy, qualitative inquiry

Other interests: policy and program evaluation, school leadership

 

Ph.D. in anthropology, University of Iowa, 1989

Dissertation:  An Evaluation of Basque Language Status Planning

Major fields: bilingual education, sociology of language

Other interests: language and culture, gender, ethnicity

 

Exchange scholar with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, 1984

Department of Linguistics, University of Michigan

 

M.A. in anthropology, University of Iowa, 1982

Thesis: Language Manipulation in the Basque Nationalist Movement: The Emergence of Batua

 

B.A., University of Iowa, 1978

Majors: mathematics, anthropology, and Spanish

Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, graduation with Highest Honors

 

ACADEMIC POSITIONS

Co-principal investigator and lecturer (2009- present)

Education Department and Vocabulary Assessment Study in Education (VASE), University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Senior researcher and lecturer (2006-2009)

Education Department and Vocabulary Innovations in Education (VINE) Study, University of California,

Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Assistant researcher and lecturer (2002-2005)

Psychology and Education Departments, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

 

Assistant professor (1998-2002)

Institute of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Visiting professor  (1990-1991)

Department of Liberal Education, Columbia College, Chicago, IL

Instructor (1988-1990)

Department of Anthropology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

 

INSTRUCTIONAL EXPERIENCE

Graduate courses

Qualitative research methods

(University of California, Santa Cruz, Education Ph.D. Program)

Social foundations of education: education and diversity

(University of California, Santa Cruz, Teacher Education M.A. Program)

Schools and school systems: Policy and decision-making at the local level

(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Public Administration M.A. Program)

Educational policy processes and analysis

(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Educational Leadership Ph.D. Program)

Language and culture

(University of Iowa, Anthropology Ph.D. Program)

Undergraduate courses

Introduction to issues in diversity and education; issues of diversity in developmental psychology; introduction to qualitative inquiry; race, class, and culture in education; gender and education; issues in educational reform; gender and culture; language and human behavior; urban anthropology; introduction to the study of culture and society; and Spanish I, II, and II

Workshops and seminars for local school officials

Superintendent/school board leadership conference; seminar on educational equity; seminar for school board chairs; and workshops on: civic education; school safety; teacher tenure decisions; performance-based budgeting; beginning/intermediate use of the Web; teamsmanship; and community engagement

 

RESEARCH POSITIONS

Research analyst (1991-1995)

Research and Monitoring, The Chicago Panel on School Policy, 200 North Michigan Ave., Suite 501,

Chicago, IL 60601

Collected and analyzed data on 14 Chicago public schools, and co-authored research reports and articles about Chicago school reform.  Contributed to resources designed to assist many participants in the reform process.  Advised policymakers, reform participants, and public about implementing school reform.

 

Research assistant (1989-1991)

Department of Education, University of Chicago, 5835 S. Kimbark, Chicago, IL  60637

Worked with Kenneth Wong on a comparative study of state-funded compensatory and bilingual programs.  Supervised a research team to collect and analyze data.  Co-authored research reports and an article.

 

Consultant (1989-1990)

Department of Research and Evaluation, Chicago Board of Education, 1819 W. Pershing Road, Chicago,

IL 60609

Participated in the design and execution (data collection, analysis, and report writing) of an evaluation of the Chicago Effective Schools Project.

 

RELATED EXPERIENCE

Co-facilitator for school board committees and school staffs (2000-2002)

Institute of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Member of the Student Editorial Board (1992-1993)

American Journal of Education, University of Chicago Press

Consultant (1987)

American College Testing, Iowa City, IA

 

FELLOWSHIPS AND GRANTS

Co-Principal Investigator, VASE (Vocabulary Assessment Study in Education), Measuring vocabulary knowledge with testlets: A new tool for assessment.  U.S. Department of Education, IES Grant R305A090550 (7/2009 – 6/2013)

Spencer Foundation Small Grant (12/2001-2/2003)

University of North Carolina Research Council Grant (2001-2002)

University of Chicago Unendowed Fellowship (1987-1991)

Fulbright Dissertation Research Grant (1984-1985)

Spanish Government Dissertation Research Grant (1984-1985)

University of Iowa Teaching-Research Fellowship (1978-1984)

 

PUBLICATIONS AND RESEARCH REPORTS

Scott, J.A., Miller, T.F., & Flinspach, S.L. (2012). Developing word consciousness:  Lessons from highly diverse fourth-grade classrooms. In J. Baumann & E. Kame’enui, Vocabulary instruction: From research to practice (2nd ed.) New York: Guilford Press.

Flinspach, S.L., Scott, J.A., & Vevea, J.L. (2010).  Rare words in students’ writing as a measure of vocabulary.  In R. Jimenez, V. Risko, M. Hundley, & D. Rowe (Eds.), 59th Yearbook of the National Reading Conference (pp. 187-200).  Oak Creek, WI: National Reading Conference.

Scott, J.A., Flinspach, S.L., Miller, T.F., Gage-Serio, O., & Vevea, J.L. (2009).  An analysis of reclassified English learners, English learners and native English fourth graders on assessments of receptive and productive vocabulary.  In K.M. Leander, D.W. Rowe, D.K. Dickinson, M.K. Hundley, R.T. Jimenez, V.J. Risko (Eds.), 58th Yearbook of the National Reading Conference (pp. 312-329). Oak Creek, WI: National Reading Conference.

Scott, J.A., Hoover, M., Flinspach, S.L., & Vevea, J.L. (2008). A multiple-level vocabulary assessment tool: Measuring word knowledge based on grade-level materials.  In Y. Kim, V. Risko, D. Compton, D. Dickinson, M Hundley,  R. Jimenez, K. Leander, & D. Rowe (Eds.), 57th Yearbook of the National Reading Conference (pp. 325-340). Oak Creek, WI: National Reading Conference.

Scott, J.A., Nagy, W.E., & Flinspach, S.L. (2008). More than merely words: Redefining vocabulary learning in a culturally and linguistically diverse society. In A. E. Farstrup & S. J. Samuels, (Eds.), What research has to say about vocabulary instruction (pp. 182-210). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Flinspach, S.L. & Banks, K.E. (2005). Moving beyond race: Socioeconomic diversity as a race-neutral approach to desegregation in the Wake County Schools. In J. C. Boger & G. Orfield, (Eds.), School resegregation: Must the South turn back? (pp. 261-280). Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

Tellez, K., Flinspach, S.L., & Waxman, H.C. (2005). Resistance to scientific evidence: Program evaluation and its lack of influence on policies related to language education programs. In R. Hoosain & F. Salili (Eds.), Language in multicultural education, (pp. 57-76). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Flinspach, S.L. (2002). A review of “Violence-proof your kids now: How to recognize the 8 warning signs and what to do about them.” School Law Bulletin, 32(3), 27-29.

Flinspach, S.L. (2001). Strengthening civic education: Three strategies for school officials. Popular Government 66(3), 31-38.

Flinspach, S.L., & Kay, J.B. (2001). Modeling good citizenship for the next generation. Popular Government 66(2), 17-24.

Flinspach, S.L., & Kay, J.B. (2000). The school board chair: “Meeting” expectations. School Law Bulletin, 31(1), 19-28.

Flinspach, S.L., McColl, A., & Houston, S. (2000). The proceedings of: Doing it all: Better schools and high-stakes accountability. Chapel Hill, NC: The Center for School Leadership Development–Executive Academy.

Flinspach, S.L., & Stewart, D. (1996). Local school councils: Governance, school improvement, and better outcomes. In G.A. Hess, Jr. (Ed.), Implementing reform: Stories of stability and change in 14 schools, (pp. 20-50). Chicago: The Chicago Panel on School Policy.

Wong, K.K., & Flinspach, S.L. (1995). Effects of state funding strategies on instructional and curricular opportunities for the disadvantaged. In K.K. Wong (Ed.), Advances in educational policy, 1, (pp. 95-133). London: JAI Press Inc.

Flinspach, S.L., & Ryan, S.P. (1994). Diversity of outcomes: Local schools under school reform. Education and Urban Society, 26(3), 292-305.

Easton, J.Q., Flinspach, S.L., O’Connor, C., Paul, M., Qualls, J., & Ryan, S.P. (1993). Local school council governance: The third year of Chicago school reform. Chicago: Chicago Panel on Public School Policy and Finance.

Hess, G.A., Jr., Flinspach, S.L., & Ryan, S.P. (1993). Case studies of Chicago schools under reform. In R.P. Niemiec & H.J. Walberg (Eds.), Evaluating Chicago school reform (pp. 43-55). New Directions for Program Evaluation, 59. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Flinspach, S.L., & Ryan, S.P. (1992). Vision and accountability in school improvement planning. Chicago: Chicago Panel on Public School Policy and Finance. (Also available as Resources in Education ED 350 718).

Ryan, S.P. & Flinspach, S.L. (1991). School improvement plan implementation and instructional change. In J.Q. Easton (Ed.), Decision making and school improvement: LSCs in the first two years of reform, (pp.29-45). Chicago: Chicago Panel on Public School Policy and Finance. (Also available as Resources in Education ED 349 656).

Flinspach, S.L. (1990). State commitment to equal educational opportunities for special-needs children. Administrator’s Notebook 34(9).

Flinspach, S.L. (1985). The need for language maintenance planning in Gipuzkoa. Journal of Basque Studies in America 6, 119-34. Reprinted in Geolinguistics 13, 89-104, in 1987.

 

OTHER RESOURCES TO ASSIST SCHOOL LEADERS, TEACHERS, AND PARENTS

 

Resources for Local School Officials [Web site, active 2000-2002]

Institute of Government, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

PUBLPART [listserv on public participation and community engagement for school officials, active 2000-2002]

Institute of Government, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Put your LSC to the test! A quiz to assess and improve your local school council. (1995)

Chicago, IL: Chicago Panel on School Policy.

Suggestions for local school councils. (1993) Chicago, IL: Chicago Panel on School Policy.

Suggestions for school improvement planning. (1992) Chicago, IL: Chicago Panel on Public School Policy and Finance.

Research summary and self-evaluation guide: LSCs in the first two years of reform. (1992)

Chicago, IL: Chicago Panel on Public School Policy and Finance.

 

RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS

…(W)here no elementary vocabulary test developer has gone before: Breaking new ground in test development. (3/12). Institute of Education Sciences Principal Investigator Meetings. Washington, D.C. (with J.A. Scott & J.L. Vevea).

Identifying and teaching vocabulary in fourth- and fifth-grade math and science. (12/11). Annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association.  Jacksonville, FL (with J.A. Scott & J.L. Vevea).

Comparative case studies: Raising word consciousness in classrooms. (12/10).  Annual meeting of the National Reading Conference/Literacy Research Association.  Fort Worth, TX (with T.F. Miller, C. Zeamer, O. Gage-Serio, & J.A. Scott).

Cognate connections: Another dimension of word consciousness. (12/10). Annual meeting of the National Reading Conference/Literacy Research Association.  Fort Worth, TX (with O. Gage-Serio, T.F. Miller, & J.A. Scott).

Fostering word consciousness through metacognitive awareness. (12/10).  Annual meeting of the National Reading Conference/Literacy Research Association.  Fort Worth, TX (with T.F. Miller, O. Gage-Serio, & J.A. Scott).

Vocabulary growth in fourth grade classrooms: A quantitative analysis. (12/10).  Annual meeting of the National Reading Conference/Literacy Research Association.  Fort Worth, TX (with J.A. Scott & J.L. Vevea).

VASE – Vocabulary assessment: A new tool for assessing fourth and fifth grade students. (6/10).  2010 Institute of Education Sciences Research Conference. National Harbor, Prince Georges County, MD (with J.L.Vevea & J.A. Scott).

Rare words in students’ writing as a measure of vocabulary. (12/09). Annual meeting of the National Reading Conference. Albuquerque, NM (with J.A. Scott, T.F. Miller, J.L. Vevea, & C. Zeamer).

Vocabulary growth over time: Results of a multiple-level vocabulary assessment based on grade-level materials. (12/09).  Annual meeting of the National Reading Conference. Albuquerque, NM (with J.A. Scott, T.F. Miller, J.L. Vevea, & O. Gage-Serio).

A case study of one teacher’s developing word consciousness and classroom practice. (12/09). Annual meeting of the National Reading Conference. Albuquerque, NM (with T.F. Miller, O. Gage-Serio, & J.A. Scott).

A rare-word analysis of fourth-grade writing: What does it say about ELs? (12/08) Annual meeting of the National Reading Conference. Orlando, FL (with J.A. Scott, J.L. Vevea, K. Davies Samway, & T.F. Miller).

Efectivo e importante: Teaching cognates to enhance the reading, writing, and vocabulary development of Spanish-speaking English language learners (ELLs). (3/08) Annual meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics. Washington, D.C. (with K.D. Samway & J.A. Scott).

Developing cognate awareness to enhance literacy: Importante y necesario. (3/08) Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.  New York, NY (with J.A. Scott, K.D. Samway, & T.F. Miller).

A multiple level assessment tool:  Measuring word knowledge based on grade level materials. (12/07) Annual meeting of the National Reading Conference. Austin, TX (with J.A. Scott, M. Hoover, & J.L. Vevea).

Linking word knowledge to the world: The V.I.N.E. Project. (4/07) Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Chicago, IL (with J.A. Scott & K. D. Samway).

Vocabulary learning through writing: Research and practice in grade 4. (12/06) Annual meeting of the National Reading Conference. Los Angeles, CA (with J. Scott & K. Davies Samway).

Desegregation in the post-Brown era: Socioeconomic diversity policies in student assignment. (4/04) Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Diego, CA.

Socioeconomic integration policy as a tool for diversifying schools: Promise and practice in two large school systems. (9/03) Color Lines Conference, The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. Cambridge, MA.

Retelling tales: Audience considerations in the interpretive review of qualitative research. (1/02) Conference for

Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies, Qualitative Interest Group. Athens, GA.

Overview of other states’ funding methods. (2/00) North Carolina Legislative Research Committee on the Resolution of Conflicts between Boards of Education and County Commissioners.  North Carolina Legislative Office Building, Raleigh, NC.

Results from the School Board Training Survey. (11/99) North Carolina School Boards Association Annual Conference, Greensboro, NC (with V. Langston).

Local school council meetings during four years of school reform. (4/94) Annual meeting of the American

Educational Research Association. New Orleans, LA.

Vision and accountability in school improvement planning. (4/93) Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Atlanta, GA (with S.P. Ryan).

School improvement plan implementation and instructional change. (4/92) Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA (with S.P. Ryan).

An ethnographic evaluation based on the effective schools model: Contrast and comparison of 14 schools.

(4/92) Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA (with L.K. Junker, N.L. Miller, and S.P. Ryan).

Local school councils during the second year of Chicago school reform. (10/91) Annual meeting of the Illinois Sociological Association, Chicago, IL (with J.Q. Easton).

How LEP immigrants survive higher education–or do they? (10/90) Midwest Regional TESOL Conference,

St. Paul, MN (with D.K. Stuart).

Diglossia and language education in the Basque Country. (12/85) Annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C.

La educación bilingüe en Guipúzcoa. (4/85) El Departamento de Filología Vasca, Escuela Universitaria Técnica de Guipúzcoa, Donostia, Spain.

The role of Unified Basque in the Basque nationalist movement. (11/82) Annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago, IL.

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